The Quebec question -

The Quebec question


Thomas Mulcair’s fellow candidates push back against the suggestion that only he can hold the party’s gains in Quebec.

However, rivals insisted a Mulcair victory is not essential to the party’s hopes of hanging onto the historic 59 seats the NDP captured in Quebec last May, vaulting it into official Opposition status for the first time. “I just don’t buy it,” dark horse contender Cullen, a British Columbia MP, said in an interview. “It would be like saying British Columbians won’t vote for anyone but me.”


The Quebec question

  1. It’s becoming clear there’s a good reason for dippers to feel polarized. In a sense they lose either way, at least for a while, since whoever has a profile in of some sort or other in the RoC has little or none in Quebec; same for Mulcair who’s virtually unknown outside that province; but at least he  apparently has some kind of a profile in BC – a very important stronghold for dippers. 

    All fixable i suppose. I’m not sure how long it takes to become well known, respected or liked, but i’m puzzled that a candidate like Nash or say Cullen [ not to mention Topp] hasn’t done more to give themselves a better chance in Quebec. If they had im not so sure the consensus pick would be Mulcair.

    Cullen in particular has disappointed. Maybe i’ve not been paying attention but why hasn’t a guy who is likeable, fun and fluent as he is been plastering himself all over Quebec tv? He must know something about hockey? After all how hard is it to say: Go Habs Go!!? 

    I think the party is on the horns of a dillemma, at least a bit, and in more ways than the profile of leadership candidates.

    Again i don’t pay much attention to the affairs of NDPers but it looks to me most of them seem to think stuff just happens.   

    • There is a difference between voters and members and the leadership selection will be settled by the vast majority of NDP members who come from what you call RoC so that’s why the campaigns haven’t focussed on Quebec. That also makes NDP members outside Quebece susceptible to the argument that they need Mulcair to keep Quebec.

      Mulcair is portraying himself as the man from Quebec, and lots will buy that. In other words it isn’t so much what Quebecers think, as what NDP members think Quebecers think.

      The contradiction in the NDP strategy I see is that for years the Bloc Quebecois has carved off a good chunk of the social democratic slice of Quebec that aren’t necessarily separatist that would otherwise be fertile ground for NDP. Instead of aggressively poisitoning themselves for that restless block of voters since the last election, Mulcair and Topp and the rest of the NDP have been positioning themselves to compete with the historic Liberal vote which I think is foolish. In many ways they are like the Conservatives and just can’t stop fighting the Liberals even when it would be more productive to do otherwise..

      • You mean chase the soft sovereignist or pro SD vote rather than the traditional liberal Trudeau vote in montreal? Makes sense if you feel there’s really an appetite for it particularly in the Francophone community?

        It’s really a pity someone [ lib or NDP] couldn’t find some accomodation between the SD and distinct society camps and the old Trudeau position. Much has changed in the last 30 years, even people like JT are musing about it being a different time now.
        Something has to be found because you can be sure the Tories are going to try and run as Capt Canada if the libs can’t or wont next time round.

        • Well yes. Quebecers didn’t just vote for Jack and the NDP, they withdrew their support from the BQ to stop the Conservatives and the NDP were just the beneficiary. That’s a greater degree of engagement in Canada than we’ve seen for decades. The NDP needs to demonstrate value to the “soft sovereignists” in standing up for their shared interest on social issues.